ACT Research: Preliminary NA Classes 5–8 Vehicle Orders Cool at the Start of 2021
Preliminary NA Class 8 net orders in January were 42,200 units, down 17% from December, but a 146% improvement from year-ago January. NA Classes 5–7 demand, with orders at 25,300 units, slid 28% sequentially but were still up 26% compared to last January. Complete industry data for January, including final order numbers, will be published by ACT Research in mid-February.
ACT’s State of the Industry: Classes 5–8 Vehicles report provides a monthly look at the current production, sales, and general state of the on-road heavy and medium duty commercial vehicle markets in North America. It differentiates market indicators by Class 5, Classes 6–7 chassis and Class 8 trucks and tractors, detailing activity-related measures such as backlog, build, inventory, new orders, cancellations, net orders, and retail sales. Additionally, Class 5 and Classes 6–7 are segmented by trucks, buses, RVs, and step van configurations. The Class 8 market is segmented into trucks and tractors, with and without sleeper cabs. The report includes a six-month industry build plan, a backlog timing analysis, historical data from 1996 to the present in spreadsheet format, and a ready-to-use graph package. A first-look at preliminary net orders is also published in conjunction with this report.
“At this introductory pass at 2021 commercial vehicle data, the consumer economy lacks the stimulus-fueled robustness that characterized spending into early Q4,” said Kenny Vieth, ACT’s President and Senior Analyst. He continued, “Even as consumers look less hearty — at least in the short-term –manufacturing sector indicators show that the industrial economy is shaking off the dust of two years of tepid activity. The slower economic expansion of the past two months is reflected in spot freight rates, which have trended lower since November. Some, but not all, of the pullback relates to seasonality, which was also reflected in January’s preliminary commercial vehicle net order data.”
Regarding the medium-duty market, Vieth commented, “Despite January’s preliminary net order moderation, the pandemic-driven shift in consumer spending from experiences to goods remains a benefit for the providers of local trucking services, and the symbiotic relationship between heavy-duty freight rates and medium-duty demand continues to impact this market segment.”
ACT Research is recognized as the leading publisher of commercial vehicle truck, trailer, and bus industry data, market analysis and forecasts for the North America and China markets. ACT’s analytical services are used by all major North American truck and trailer manufacturers and their suppliers, as well as banking and investment companies. ACT Research is a contributor to the Blue Chip Economic Indicators and a member of the Wall Street Journal Economic Forecast Panel. ACT Research executives have received peer recognition, including election to the Board of Directors of the National Association for Business Economics, appointment as Consulting Economist to the National Private Truck Council, and the Lawrence R. Klein Award for Blue Chip Economic Indicators’ Most Accurate Economic Forecast over a four-year period. ACT Research senior staff members have earned accolades including Chicago Federal Reserve Automotive Outlook Symposium Best Overall Forecast, Wall Street Journal Top Economic Outlook, and USA Today Top 10 Economic Forecasters. More information can be found at www.actresearch.net.
ACT’s 64th Seminar is scheduled for February 23–25, 2021. Focused on the continuous evolution and advancement of power and energy changes in the transportation and commercial vehicle markets, OUTLOOK Seminar 64 will feature key industry leaders such as Ryan Reed of Wabash National, John Bennett from Meritor, Lance Riegel of Marvin Johnson, and Dominick Beckman from Hino Motors. Look for more details on this event over the coming months and save the date for February’s event. Click here for seminar information. www.actresearch.net/seminar64
Click here for more information about ACT’s Classes 5–8 reports.
For information about other ACT Research publications, click here.